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Category: Ferrari

What is the fastest car in the world in 2024?


It wasn’t that long ago that the notion of reaching 200 miles per hour in a car, on a road, seemed basically impossible. As you likely know by now, that time has passed. And once that threshold was crossed, the automotive world immediately began eying the next triple-digit benchmark: 300 miles per hour. It may have taken a little while, but the 300-mph line has been crossed, and some cars have moved well past that seemingly insane speed number. While some of these speeds have been achieved in simulations (including the fastest car listed below), there’s little doubt that a driver with nerves of steel and a heavy right foot could indeed push several automobiles up to 300 miles per hour and beyond.

Interestingly, it’s not just one car or automaker in the 300-mph club, as a handful of models have earned a place (sometimes claimed but not yet demonstrated) on the leaderboard.

The fastest car in the world is: Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut (330 MPH)

Fastest car in the world 2023

That title goes to the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut, which recorded a staggering 330 mph top speed earlier in 2023. The car’s twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 lays down 1,600 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque, which plays a significant role in delivering that speed, but Koenigsegg’s engineers have given the car a lot more than mind-blowing power.

The Jesko Absolut has a super-slippery 0.278 drag coefficient and a nine-speed transmission that shifts so quickly it’s almost imperceptible. Koenigsegg calls it a Light Speed Transmission (LST), saying its shifts happen at almost light speed. While that might be a slight exaggeration, the gearbox is impressive, bringing several wet multi-disc clutches and a super lightweight construction.

As Koenigsegg says, “the Jesko Absolut is destined to achieve higher, more extraordinary speeds than any Koenigsegg or any other fully homologated car before it.”

How expensive is the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut?

If you were reading that and wondering how much the fastest car in the world costs, the price tag is just another dizzying number on the Jesko Absolut’s spec sheet. All 125 Absolut cars offered sold out at a price of almost $3 million. Of course, being able to afford the Koenigsegg is just the first step in realizing its full potential. There are very few places on the map that can support a 300-plus-mph speed run, and the locations that do are not conveniently located. That said, it’s likely that many people who shelled out the cash for a Jesko Absolut will be happy with the bragging rights instead of using the speed.

So, the Jesko Absolut holds the speed crown and does so with more than a few miles per hour to spare, but the other cars in the 300-mph club are nearly as impressive.

Other cars that drive faster than 300 mph

BUGATTI Bolide 300 mph

The Bugatti Bolide sees 1,847 horsepower and 1,365 pound-feet of torque from a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16. Its top speed lands at 311 mph, and its styling is just as wild and exaggerated.

However, unlike the Koenigsegg, the Bugatti is a track-only affair. Though it shares an engine and some of its underlying structure with the road-legal Chiron, Bugatti opted to keep the Bolide limited to track duty. While that’s a bummer, especially at the roughly $4.4 million price tag, not having to build a car to meet road car regulations gave Bugatti the freedom to create a brutal car with speed that defies logic. The Bolide is also far more exclusive than the Koenigsegg, as Bugatti produced just 40 of the extreme cars.

The car’s suspension is far stiffer than the Chiron’s, and the car rides on Michelin slicks. It utilizes a revised carbon monocoque and is built using an array of 3D-printed parts. Without the need to worry about curbs, speed bumps, and pedestrians, Bugatti could go wild with aerodynamics and bodywork, resulting in a car that looks like it could cut you.

What goes into creating a car that can go faster than 300 mph?

The Jesko Absolut and Bolide make reaching 300-plus mph sound easy, which you’d expect for their multiple-seven-digit price tags, but there’s a lot that goes into hitting their mind-blowing top speeds. Beyond the fact that it takes miles of glassy-smooth tarmac, the cars have to be exceptionally aerodynamic and be able to consume gobs of air, and fuel consumption at those speeds is immense. Engineers have to shape a car that easily slices through the air while also creating tremendous downforce to keep it on the ground.

Adding thousands of pounds of downforce stresses almost every part of the car, especially the suspension and tires. The dampers have to be able to support the temporarily heavier car while also keeping the tires in contact with the tarmac. At 300 mph, even subtle imperfections in the road surface come faster and much harder, so the car has to be able to cope.

Tires take a particularly brutal beating during the top-speed runs, as their sidewalls get compressed with all the downforce. They’re also subjected to extreme temperatures due to the friction that comes from rubber clawing against the pavement at 300 mph. At that speed, the tires rotate thousands of times per minute, so they must also be sturdy enough to hold their shape through the harsh rotational forces. Finally, high speeds do funny things with the weights of vehicle components, such as the tire pressure monitoring sensors, which can weigh several times their normal amount when rotating at 300 mph and cause wheel imbalances and other issues.

What about the previously fastest cars from Ferrari and Porsche?

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

While we’re now talking about cars reaching speeds in excess of 300 mph, the first car to cross 200 mph did so more than 50 years ago. The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona hit 200 mph in March 1970 at Talladega in Alabama. That’s right, the first car to 200 wasn’t wearing an Italian name on its nose, though many of the most well-known cars in the 200 club do. That said, the Charger Daytona, like the Bugatti Bolide today, was not street-legal, and the first road-going car to hit the benchmark was a Ferrari.

Several years after the Dodge’s record-setting run, the Ferrari F40 (below left) reached 200 mph as the first production car with the record. Its twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V8 cranked out 471 horsepower when new, giving it a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. Interestingly, the most impressive Porsche at the time, the 959 (below right), fell just short of the F40’s speed, reaching “just” 197 mph.

Electric power could change everything

As the automotive world moves toward full electrification, there are questions about EVs’ top speed and battery power, but there are at least five models on sale today with a 200-plus mph top speed. The slick Lucid Air Sapphire offers a 200-mph top speed and a 0-60 time of under 2 seconds. It tied the Tesla Model S Plaid’s top speed but did 0-60 quicker, as the Tesla takes 2.1 seconds to do the deed. The Lotus Evija also promises a 200-mph top speed, but the top two cars are helping move the EV performance needle close to the extreme numbers seen from today’s fastest gas cars. The Pininfarina Battista offers a 217-mph top speed and a crazy 1.8-second 0-60 time, and at the tippy-top of the performance hill is the Rimac Nevera, which offers a 258-mph top speed and a 1.9-second 0-60 mph time.

The 5 fastest cars in the world in 2024

  • Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut: 330 MPH (Claimed)
  • Bugatti Bolide: 311 MPH (Claimed)
  • Bugatti Chiron Super Sport: 305 MPH
  • Hennessey Venom F5: 300 MPH (Claimed)
  • SSC Tuatara: 283 MPH



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Ferrari 12Cilindri Deep Dive Preview: No electric here, just pure V12 beauty


MARANELLO, Italy – Bentley built its final W12 in April, an engine VW Group introduced in 2001. Mercedes and BMW already bid auf wiedersehen to 12 cylinders. But Ferrari is Ferrari. Defying trends and regulators, the company has created a radically reimagined GT whose name rivals “LaFerrari” for on-the-nose intent: The 12Cilindri.

The new Ferrari 12Cilindri was just officially revealed in Miami, but I got a deep-dive viewing two weeks ago at the company’s sleek Centro Stile (“design center”) in Maranello.

With all respect to the 812 Superfast, the breathtaking, Delta-themed 12Cilindri crumples and tosses its predecessor’s evolutionary design. For years now, Ferrari’s classic front-engine GTs have been overshadowed by its mid-engine V8 supercars, and now the brilliant six-cylinder 296 GTB hybrid. So extending the life of Ferrari’s hallowed V12 is a good thing, but only if the GT it powers gets some love and attention as well.

Talk about an attention-getter. Even as it nods to Ferrari’s past — including a visor-like hood band that’s a cheeky callback to the 365 GTB4 Daytona — the 12Cilindri’s winning modernity seems a career mic drop (so far) for design chief Flavio Manzoni.

 

Fans of ICE-fueled overabundance will give thanks to 12 apostles, seated for supper in red-haloed rows, below the Ferrari’s DaVinci-spec hood. Those cylinders will deliver a decidedly unholy 819 horsepower, up from 788 in the 812 Superfast, and matching the track-focused 812 Competizione. Ferrari pegs 0-62-mph (100 km/h) acceleration in 2.9 seconds, a 7.9-second rip to 124 mph, and a top speed beyond 211 mph.

The Ferrari V12 that started it all was Gioacchino Columbo’s controversial 1.5-liter design, whose 1946 blueprints are preserved in Maranello. Critics scoffed that the tiny displacement was better suited to a four-cylinder. Italian racer Franco Cortese recalled a general consensus on Enzo: “He’s a nutcase. It will eat his money and finish him.”

Instead, Enzo’s one-off 125 C (and a single 125 S) rolled from the factory gate and into history in 1947. That 125 C conked out with fuel-pump problems while leading its first race, which Enzo dubbed “a promising failure.” The snub-nosed red barchetta won six of its next 13 races — though not the Mille Miglia — making 100 horsepower from its 60-degree V12. Ferrari wouldn’t build a road car without a front-engine V12 for 20 years, until the mid-mounted V6 Dino 206 in 1967. So Ferrari’s 12-cylinder loyalty is only natural, including in the naturally-aspirated Purosangue SUV.

Eight decades of growth have lifted displacement to a big-blocky 6.5 liters, with the aforementioned 819 horses and 500 pound-feet of torque. I’m already dreaming of a test drive when Manzoni lifts the largest hood ever fitted to a Ferrari: a single hunk of hot-formed aluminum long enough to make a Viper blush. The front-hinged clamshell eliminates cutlines around the hood, in a car inspired as much by aeronautics as automobiles. Say arrevederci to a traditional grille. Headlamps are integrated into the wraparound “Daytona” band, with blade-like daytime running lights. A pair of asymmetric hood vents are the only visual break in the fluid form. Sexy, swelling front and rear fenders are connected by a subtle update of Ferrari’s familiar semi-circular indent line.

Again dispensing with nostalgia, Manzoni and Co. went for high, functional drama out back: A sweeping rear window and carbon-fiber roof nod to an aeronautic flybridge. And rather than a traditional rear spoiler, that rear window melds into a pair of moveable, batwing-like flaps at each corner. The electric winglets can lift up to 30 degrees to boost downforce, but won’t move independently. (Ferrari engineers say the weight and complexity of a dual-motor system weren’t justified by aero gains). An aggressive rear diffuser juts like a lineman’s facemask, the one area where function arguably intrudes on an otherwise-elegant form.

 

The window and, um, “batflaps” form the car’s signature Delta shape, with the greenhouse surface in contrasting body color. A gem-like lighting blade (with no round taillamps, scusi) wraps a concave rear. Viewed from behind, the 12Cilindri appears to be a double-wide supercar fantasy: Owners had better prepare to be chased by Insta-snapping fans. 

Ferrari unveiled the coupe in a coat of gray-white “Bianco Artico” paint, which seemed hard to top — until we traipsed into its Atelier (where customers choose leathers and other options) for a gander at the 12Cilindri Spider. The convertible was shown in “Verde Toscana,” a spring awakening of green-gray that flattered every line. As in the 296 GTS, the space-saving retractable hardtop opens or closes in 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph.

 

Like the Roma and Purosangue, the 12Cilindri adopts a dual-cockpit design that wraps driver and passenger in beautiful, near-symmetric binnacles. A physical Manettino driving-mode selector patrols the racy flat-bottom steering wheel, unfortunately with the capacitive Start/Stop switch of other recent models, rather than an analog button.

There’s also a digital screen for the passenger to noodle with. But the stop-the-presses news is a third digital display: A 10.3-inch center screen tucked below the artistic dash, whose infuriating absence on Purosangue and 296 models left drivers thumbing through an overtaxed (and distracting) driver’s display for every last function. Ferrari executives refused to bite on suggestions that multilingual cursing and complaints from owners may have sparked this change-of-heart. But we’ll go out on a limb and say that even the most coordinated driver doesn’t want a fussy steering-wheel slider to scroll Spotify or adjust navigation maps.

 

Press that haptic Start switch, however, and the V12 will remind you of Ferrari’s reason for being. Ferrari cues up a recording of the engine scaling to 9,500 rpm like a runamok Pavarotti, ripping through downshifts with murderous glee. Nessun Dorma indeed — or “None Shall Sleep” — because the wake-the-dead wail of a Ferrari V12 will be talked about, mourned and ultimately preserved by collectors into the next century. They’ll just need to preserve some unleaded as well.

An all-new exhaust system, including equal-length runners for the 6-into-1 manifolds, also flatters the “noble combustion orders” of the 12-cylinder mill.

As on the 812 Competizione, the dry-sump engine’s reciprocating parts are 40% lighter. Titanium connecting rods and a new aluminum alloy for pistons trim more weight. Sliding finger followers for the valvetrain mimic Ferrari’s F1 cars, and diamond-like carbon (DLC) surface coatings reduce friction.

Ferrari’s spectacular eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox should deliver palpable gains, versus a seven-speed on all 812 models. First seen on the SF90 Stradale, that F1 transmission brings 15% shorter gearing and 8% speedier shifts. That should solve the 812’s tendency to run out of oomph in its tall third and fourth gears. Relatively speaking: When I’ve run through gears in an 812, with up to 819 horses, I tend to focus on a shortage of runway and brains, not power. 

Here, Ferrari claims a first for its naturally aspirated engines: a patented software solution that helped sculpt a sturdier torque curve in third and fourth gears. Company engineers were a bit vague about how it works, but said their “Aspirated Torque Shaping” boosts the sensation of maximum torque and unbroken momentum. Add up the changes, and Ferrari cites a 12% jump in torque at the rear wheels versus previous V12 berlinettas.

Chassis torsional stiffness grows by 15%, with an adjustable MagneRide suspension and 21-inch forged wheels all around. Engineers say suspension turning roughly splits the difference between an 812 and the hardcore Competizione. Owners choose between Michelin Pilot Sport S5 or Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tires. (Are you kidding? Take the Michelins). Active air flaps work with five underbody vortex generators to channel and extract air. Shock towers integrate recycled aluminum for the first time to trim CO2 emissions during casting.

The biggest gain here appears to be a wheelbase that’s shortened by 0.8 inches. That’s not much on paper, until you add rear-wheel steering. By tightening the turning radius, the feature virtually shortens the wheelbase by another 1.2 inches. Ferrari engineers say the total 2.0-inch reduction helps create a decisively more-agile GT.

To halt a big-bodied Ferrari with a claimed dry weight of 3,432 pounds, the 12Cilindri adopts an impressive brake-by-wire system from the 296 GTB, the shortest-stopping car in the Cavallino stable. Engineers say the 12Cilindri brakes from 62-0 mph in 107 feet, with “6D multi-axis sensing” allowing each wheel to brake independently. Side Slip Control, the big brain behind the company’s otherworldly traction and stability systems, is now in its eighth iteration.

All this and more, for €395,000 to start in Italy; or closer to €435,000 for the 12Cilindri Spider that’s set to follow in early 2025. U.S. pricing has not been set. But if you have to ask …

Between the coupe, Spider and Purosangue for garden-center runs, Ferrari will have three V12 models. Executives said that’s the culmination of a decision made four years ago to continue investing in ICE powertrains, including for loyal customers who still clamored for a V12.

“It is not up to us to impose technology,” said Enrico Galliera, chief marketing and commercial officer.

Even now, Galliera said, Ferrari “will not have the arrogance” to say these are their final, ultimate, no-foolin’ V12 models, even as the company readies a new building in Maranello (set to open in June) to house its fast-growing electric operations.

As for the 12Cilindri name, Gianmaria Fulgenzi, chief development officer, called it a “declaration of love.” Executives joked they’ll offer training sessions to help folks pronounce it correctly. For the record, it’s “DOH-di-chee Chill-IN-dree.” Or, you could just whistle.



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